LUCKNOW: UP government has decided to construct four memorials in the name of former Prime Minister .

The government is learnt to have zeroed in on Atal’s ancestral village Bateshwar in Agra; Balrampur, from where he won his first Lok Sabha election in 1957; Kanpur where he received his higher education; and Lucknow, which he represented five times as a member of parliament. A senior government functionary confirmed to TOI that the construction of memorials has been mooted by chief minister . “A formal decision to this effect would be taken soon,” a senior cabinet minister said.

The development comes close on the heels of government plans of immersing Vajpayee’s ashes in rivers of various districts. A state government spokesperson said that Vajpayee’s ashes will be immersed in 29 rivers, including Ganga in Varanasi, Allahabad and Kanpur; Yamuna and Chambal in Agra; Ghagra and Rapti in Gorakhpur; Gomti in Lucknow and Barabanki, and Hindon and Kali Nadi in . “Atalji was not just a leader but an ideologue of the party. He brought BJP to power. Constructing memorial for Atalji would be our tribute to him,” UP BJP spokesperson, Harish Chandra Srivastava told TOI.

Situated on the banks of Yamuna between Agra and , Bateshwar is a spiritual and cultural centre for Hindus for its 101-Shiv temple complex. The village also has a banyan tree under which, according to popular belief, Lord Shiva took rest. It is learnt that inspired by Quit India movement launched by Mahatama Gandhi in 1942, Atal unfurled a tricolor at Bateshwar.

The Balrampur parliamentary constituency ceased to exist following the delimitation exercise conducted in 2008. “A memorial will be built at Balrampur as it was Atalji’s first political karmabhoomi,” said a senior BJP leader.

The government may also look for a site to construct a memorial in Lucknow, which he represented as MP five times since 1991 until he retired from active politics. Plans are also afoot to construct a memorial in Kanpur where Vajpayee pursued higher education from DAV College, which was then affiliated to Agra University.

‘A memorial will be built at Balrampur’
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